Singaporean makes history at Royal College of Music
Erhu player is its first graduate specialising in a Chinese traditional instrument
A Singapore student has scored a first by graduating from London's prestigious Royal College of Music (RCM) specialising in a traditional Chinese instrument.
Mr Chew Jun Ru, 24, completed his Bachelor of Music course in performance with the erhu - a 1,000-year-old two-stringed instrument played with a bow.
It is the first time a student playing a Chinese instrument is graduating from the 130-year-old institution, thanks to a 2011 agreement between the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) and RCM, whose alumni include composers Benjamin Britten and Andrew Lloyd Webber, guitarist John Williams, flautist James Galway and singer Joan Sutherland.
The agreement admits music diploma graduates to RCM's third- and final-year undergraduate degree programmes conducted mainly at Nafa's campus. Mr Chew is in the pioneer batch of 18 graduating this month, but he is the only one using a Chinese instrument. The others play Western instruments, including the piano, violin, drums and French horn.